External drives for sample packs and backup

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External drives for sample packs and backup

Post by waterfordogs » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:21 pm

hey all,

I'm just about to upgrade from Ableton Live 9 Standard to Live 10 Suite.

Before I do this I'm looking into the best place to put sample libraries other than on my laptop. I have read this: https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/artic ... ard-drives which imples multiple HDDs is best. In particular it recommends using a SSD for your samples / packs. Obviously all this comes at a cost!

Is it really necessary to use a SSD? These are obviously much more expensive than a HDD. What are other people doing for this? How is performance?

My macbook pro only has 250 GB so I'm conscious upgrading to Suite will start filling that fairly quickly with all the sameples it comes with....so I'm thinking I do probably need an external disk of some sort. For backups I was intending to just use iCloud.

Any thoughts?

Kind Regards


Shift Gorden
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Re: External drives for sample packs and backup

Post by Shift Gorden » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:16 pm

Hey mate - I know what you mean about the price of those SSDs!

I have a 500gb SSD MBP, but most of my synth libraries and samples sit on an external 2TB Transcend hard drive.

The samples load/preview no problem, but some of the libraries can be slow slow slow - especially large Kontakt libraries (I'm looking at you, Spitfire). Once they are loaded it's fine, it's just a bit of a waiting game. Performance isn't an issue for me at all.

I'm fine with it since I'm not performing live or anything

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Re: External drives for sample packs and backup

Post by Stromkraft » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:39 pm

waterfordogs wrote:
Any thoughts?
It's more important that the system drive is SSD. An external RAID with HDDs, connected with a sufficiently speedy connection will be faster, but the enclosure and the multiple disks will move it closer to SSD prices. Even the slowest SSDs typically read and write at 500MB/s whereas 7200 rpm drives will typically go 80-200MB/s or something like that. SATA III, which among others is one common connector for directly to the drive, throughput is about 4.8 Gb/s.
USB 3.1 Gen 2, for connecting to the computer, can match that, Gen 1 topping out at maybe 3.2 Gb/s in real life scenarios, but the total disk speed itself determines if these speeds are relevant to care about. If you use one 200 MB/s or slower drive, then even USB 2 is probably sufficient.

Of course there's also Thunderbolt I, II and III and on older MOBOs Firewire.

I'd assume even if you load larger libraries an HDD would be acceptable. If you hate to wait for some more time is up to you.
Make some music!

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Re: External drives for sample packs and backup

Post by soundremedy » Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:04 am

samsung t3 or t5 ssd are incredible performers for external sound libraries.

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Re: External drives for sample packs and backup

Post by mihai » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:35 am

200gb-240gb ssds are around $80 in the US. Add a usb-to-sata adapter for around $20 and you're not spending $300+.
Nowadays if you don't go ssd you're only cheating yourself. HDDs have their place but they're not very helpful in this context.

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Re: External drives for sample packs and backup

Post by bobbyduracel » Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:04 am

I am revisiting this same issue. I have a new Mac Mini on the way, with a 2TB SSD internal, 32gigs ram, max CPU, etc. My current collection of external drives includes a 1TB SSD G-drive portable, a 1TB G-drive 7,200 RPM portable, and a Glyph 8TB (for time machine).

I was wondering, if I set up dual 3-4TB Glyph "Black Box Pro" 7,200 drives on the desktop (for $3-350 out of pocket) and configured one of them for sample libraries, and the other for all "write" duties (which will also store my project files), would that constant 220mbs transfer rate on EACH drive be "just as fast" as setting up my computer with the internal SSD as my "ableton/NI processing drive" AND my "write" drive while housing samples externally on a single SSD (at a greater cost)?

Okay, maybe not "just as fast" but - fast enough?

My current sample SSD has 180 gigs free and I haven't yet upgraded from K12 to the Collector's Edition. When I do this, it will go much beyond my 1TB capacity. I will need a larger drive either way, so naturally the possibility of NOT spending $500 sounda like something to explore!

I have a bunch of NI libraries, a massive collection of third-party NKI bundles, Ableton Suite, and others (as well as my own collection of samples, which is quite large).

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Re: External drives for sample packs and backup

Post by U.G.U.R » Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:34 pm

hello everyone. I bought 480 gb ssd harddrive. But ı am not sure how ı can keep my sample pack or libraryi VST etc... I didnt decided yet.

I am thinking that I keep on my all VST( ı used too many- Omnisphere, Trilian, Dune, serum, too many:)) in my SSD harddrive, but for my sample pack, ı didnt think the same.

Do you guys have a good advice for it? I need that advice too much.

Thank you all from now..

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